Tech-On has a great article on the digital future of robotic security services, with this An9-PR on display by ALSOK sporting an impressive laundry list of gadgetery. Aside from range of LCD touch panels, we’ll get to that after the hop, it touts a face-recognition camera, embedded FeliCa RFID functions, human range sensors and WLAN connectivity for positioning and reporting. Standing 160cm (about 5ft) tall and tipping the scales at 200kg this real-life cousin of R2D2 comes with a hefty price tag of about $150k and will be available for monthly lease of about $3,000 including on-going maintenance fees.
This offer would seem to be – at least – as much security as PR with off-setting revenue potential. According to the details:
The robot is expected to be used in shopping centers, public facilities, etc. For example, it is possible to show a facility guide and advertisements, and visitors can run a search for shop information by using the touch panel. Advertisements and guides shown on the monitors can be changed in accordance with the location of the robot. Also, equipped with a FeliCa reader/writer and an infrared communication function, it is possible to send shop information and coupons to mobile phones compatible with FeliCa as well as to take a picture with the camera, process and send it to a handset.
With a top speed of only 4km/h it won’t be chasing down many bad guys but certainly seems outfitted to help pay for it’s running costs. It will debut at Hamamatsu Science Museum in March 2010.